A new study finds that depression may be far more common in men than previously estimated.
traditionally have been diagnosed with depression about twice as often
as men, with about 20% of women becoming depressed at some point in
In the past decade, however, some researchers have
suggested that they simply weren't asking the right questions when
talking to men. While women may show their depression through symptoms
such as crying or trouble sleeping, depression in men may manifest as
anger, aggression, substance abuse or risk taking, such as gambling or
womanizing, says lead author Lisa Martin, an assistant professor at the
University of Michigan in Dearborn.
When researchers factored in
those types of symptoms, they found that about 30% of both men and women
had been depressed at some point in their lives, according to a study
published Wednesday in JAMA Psychiatry.
Researchers at the
University of Michigan based their study on of 3,310 women and 2,382
men. The analysis is the first to look at gender differences in
depression rates in a large national sample, Martin says.
experts accept that depression manifests differently in men and women,
says Peter Kramer, a clinical professor at Brown University not involved
in the new study.
The notion of gender differences in depression
symptoms is still a new idea, says Kramer, who describes Martin's
findings as preliminary.
Rates of bipolar disorder — in which
people may cycle back and forth between depression and mania — are
similar between men and women. But rates of many other conditions vary
by gender, Kramer says. Autism and attention-deficit hyperactivity
disorder are much more common among men, for example, while eating
disorders are more common among women.
Yet Martin says that changing the criteria for diagnosing depression could lead to more men getting help.
we can get men who have depression to recognize it in themselves and
get treatment, that is really significant," Martin says.
men are typically much less likely to be treated than depressed women,
Martin says, partly because some men see asking for help as a sign of
Martin says clinicians tell her that men are not as
likely to walk into their offices of their own free will; Instead,
doctors say that men often seek treatment only because "they've been
given ultimatums by their wives or their employers," who threaten to
divorce or fire them unless the men change their behavior.
and substance use disorders were the leading cause of non-fatal illness
in the world in 2010, according to an analysis published Wednesday in The Lancet.
and substance use disorders were responsible for more of the global
burden of death and illness than HIV/ AIDS and tuberculosis, diabetes,
or car accidents, according to the study.
Ellin Virliana (10410118)